Hartbeespoort Dam

Hartbeespoort Dam is usually called Harties for short among South Africans. Hartbeespoort Dam is about half an hour’s drive west of Pretoria and is a popular weekend destination for residents of the Gauteng province, not surprising because Harties is beautifully situated against the Magaliesbergen.This dam serves as a reservoir for agriculture north of the Magaliesbergen where since the construction of the dam (completed in 1923), grain, flowers, tobacco and fruit have been grown. The water in the dam comes from two rivers: Crocodile River and Magalies River and the dam has a depth of no less than 45 meters, the total surface area is almost 19 square kilometers.

The village bears the same name as the dam itself (Hartbeespoort) and is located on the north side by the dam wall. Along the banks you will find a number of smaller villages: Kosmos, Melody, Ifafi and Meerhof. Needless to say, there are many water sports options including speed boat trips, windsurfing, water skiing, para-sailing or a relaxing cruise. In Hartbeespoort there are many restaurants with a beautiful view of the water. The small handicraft and art shops attract many visitors in the weekends.

Around the dam there are many possibilities for excursions such as the Hartbeespoort Dam Aquarium where you can see tropical fish, crocodiles, pelicans, seals and penguins. During the weekend you can also attend one of the shows during your visit (11:00, 13:00 and 15:00).

For a beautiful view of the dam and the Magaliesberg, take the Harties Cableway, a cable car that will take you to the top of the Magaliesberg. Or you can choose to climb the mountain yourself via the hiking routes. Once at the top there are opportunities for something to eat and drink, picnic areas and a souvenir shop.

Interested in the large gray African giants? Then visit the nearby Elephant Sanctuary for a very educational tour and the opportunity to touch, feed and walk with the elephants. At Bushbabies Monkey Sanctuary you get a similar educational tour but then between the (exotic) monkeys. All monkeys are rescued from illegal traders or come from people who kept them as pets. The aim is to release the animals into the wild again when they have been sufficiently rehabilitated. Cheetahs can be admired at the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Center.
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